In a significant development for India’s aviation industry, SITA has inked a groundbreaking agreement with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to provide cutting-edge technology solutions to 43 of India’s largest airports.
The move comes as India’s Civil Aviation sector continues to be one of the fastest-growing globally, positioning itself as a crucial driver to achieve the country’s goal of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024.
The landmark deal will witness the implementation of advanced technologies across over 2,700 passenger touchpoints, offering a modernized experience that meets the expectations of today’s travelers. Initially deployed across 43 airports, these scalable solutions can be expanded to an additional 40 airports within the next seven years, with an estimated 500 million passengers expected to benefit from the enhanced services during this period.
The introduction of new cloud-based technologies will enable Indian airports to transition to common-use passenger experiences, allowing multiple airlines to leverage the same infrastructure, such as check-in counters, self-service kiosks, and boarding gates. This shift not only facilitates improved collaboration among airlines but also enables efficient scalability of airport operations as passenger numbers continue to surge. With a cloud-first approach, enhanced security measures can be enforced, while airlines can leverage the platform to host innovative technologies, moving away from native applications. Centralized cloud hosting of servers reduces on-premise infrastructure costs and ensures centralized control for proactive monitoring and service management.
Sumesh Patel, President, Asia Pacific, SITA, expressed excitement about the collaboration, emphasizing the potential of India’s aviation sector. With the number of airports projected to increase from 148 to 220 by 2025, the airports will play a crucial role in connecting nearly 50 Indian cities with populations exceeding one million people. By bridging these cities more effectively, air travel and transport will unlock the full potential of India’s economic growth. Patel emphasized the criticality of efficient operations and seamless passenger experiences in realizing the immense opportunities in the country’s air transport industry.
The deployment of SITA’s state-of-the-art solutions, including SITA Flex, CUPPS, SITA CUSS, and SITA Bag Manager, will empower passengers with greater control over their journey, enabling low-touch, efficient check-in, bag drop, and collection processes through both assisted and self-service mechanisms. These IATA-certified platforms offer airlines and ground handlers the advantages of common-use technologies, supporting scalable operations tailored to their specific requirements.
The implementation of the Baggage Reconciliation System will significantly enhance baggage accountability, reducing losses and security concerns, which is vital for industry recovery amidst the escalating baggage mishandling rate. This project exemplifies the adoption of cutting-edge technological platforms, improving operational efficiencies, and paving the way for future integration of biometric passenger processing. Furthermore, real-time dashboard-based information will be accessible to governing agencies, promoting transparency and informed decision-making.
With the introduction of online real-time dashboards, AAI officers at airports and headquarters will have instant access to critical information, replacing the previous monthly service availability reports. This comprehensive revamp of existing services has been carried out since May 2022 without causing disruptions to ongoing operations, ensuring seamless transitions.
SITA’s partnership with AAI is set to revolutionize India’s airports, delivering a superior passenger experience, reducing infrastructure requirements, and enhancing operational efficiency. As India’s aviation industry continues to soar, this landmark agreement marks a significant step forward, underscoring the commitment to embracing cutting-edge technology and establishing India as a global aviation powerhouse.